Isn't it interesting that for vacations, many people choose to stay in places with little access to computers, the internet, or technology in general? Why do people find that "unplugging" from the information on the internet is actually a vacation? If you haven't spent some time unplugged from the internet, TV, phone, etc. you should try it. You may not think this idea is that great, but I guarantee you that at some point in your life, you will need to unplug and get away from it all. Let's face it, we get pummeled with too much information all the time. And this is impacting society as a whole. Some think every generation is getting smarter. I think we are all just getting a little bit crazier by being overwhelmed by information.
I am very thankful that social media has come into my life. I like Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter. I can reach out to old classmates and new friends and learn something about them. I can share in their joys and laugh at their humor. But there is also a down-side. I now know when they are sick, angry, or even dying. As a working mom, I spend a lot of time focusing and dealing with sick kids, angry coworkers, etc. so there's little energy left beyond my physical, face-to-face world to reach into the social world on the internet to give more in terms of support and reassurance. And although I like all the friendships and connections I have online, sometimes I wonder if as a society we know just a little bit too much about everything going on around us. It's sad enough to hear on TV about celebrities that die, but now I also get to hear about classmates that died. And I get to see articles people post about dismal topics like flu epidemics and animal cruelty. Is it any wonder that more people are being diagnosed with mental health issues like anxiety and depression? Growing up, I never expected to know people who have committed suicide, now it seems common-place to know at least one person that has. So no wonder people vacation to places where they can unplug. Sometimes we've provided ourselves with too much information that can be very stressful. Everyone seems to be dying of cancer, so will I? Odds seem to be in favor of that...or getting hit by a drunk driver, or maybe even getting hit by falling space junk!
When growing up, our parents never explained to us that being an adult not only meant raising a family and having a good job, but that you had to balance that with the tidal wave of information from the media and internet, and teach your kids that it's all ok. Today, the world isn't a worse place than in the past, people aren't less healthy, there are no world wars, and it's not that scary just outside your front door, but if you watch enough social media sites and TV, you may just think that. Do we really need to know everything that is going on across the planet? Are we really more informed or just more stressed to hear all this info? Back in the days when the world you lived in was about the size of a few city blocks, when the information you received was about what was happening in that smaller space, back then life was simpler and people were less stressed. Maybe ignorance is bliss.
I see stress levels increasing for everyone. People take a vacation from work, yet are still on email. Some work weekends or late nights. People are concerned about job security and losing their income. So add that stress with all the information we get from the world online and it's no wonder that I see mental illnesses at work like alcoholism, claustrophobia, and migraines. Take a break everyone. Really. Take some time and just make your world those few city blocks, the rooms in your house, your backyard, that deserted island. You may find happiness and relaxation. You may find that ignorance is bliss and being ignorant for a while is a blessing.
Ok, my rant is done. Time for the Evening News!